“The controversy over “Climategate” continues to heighten as some Pennsylvania legislators question the continuation of Penn State’s current research grants — and possibly even the appropriations the university has been waiting on since July.”
There were two interesting articles late last week in the Penn State student paper, the Collegian.
The first article discusses the University’s funding situation. The State appropriation for fiscal year 2009-10, which started July 1st 2009, has still not been approved, the hold-up is legislation on legalising table games, primarily poker.
The expectation is that taxes from licenses and gambling revenue will provide over $200 million in income for the State. Assuming they are taxing the net at 16%, as per the article (other sources suggest 20% tax), and that the game is fair with house odds at 2%, then the expectation is for about $50 billion per year in annual turnover.
This seems optimistic.
If the tax is on the gross turnover at the table, then I’d expect very few people would play, you’d have to be rather extraordinarily math illiterate to accept a game with a 16% tax on the gross.
If the university appropriations are cut, the State loses federal stimulus funding.
But, although the State appropriations at about $300 million are a small percentage of the total university budget, they are a larger part of the general budget – in particular research funding is targeted, not fungible.
As general funds, the State appropriation works out at about $4,000 per student. Some savings could be made in response to cuts, but the further into the fiscal year it goes, the harder it is to save serious amounts of money, by next month any response to cuts in funding would likely involve staff furloughs, started at very short notice.
Next to the above article, was another, clearly not at all related:
Issue May Affect Funds:
to cut a long story short, a State Legislator, J. Piccola (R), wrote a letter to PSU suggesting, obliquely, that funding would be withheld until “appropriate action” is taken against Prof. M. Mann.
The issue is, “climategate”, which apparently has some of Mr. Piccola’s constituents rather excited. Mr Piccola is the Chair of the PA Senate Education Committee.
The issue of the “climategate” e-mails is currently under investigation at PSU, to determine whether a formal investigation is warranted.
Pressuring the university administration on the issue is prejudicial and unwarranted.
Sen. Piccola letter to Pres. Spanier (scribd):
Here is a letter from one of the organizations prompting Sen. Piccola.
Here is the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Awareness, they are an “independent”, if rather anisoptropic, not to mention chiral, institution.
The CFfPPA was set up in 1987 at a Heritage Foundation meeting, and is apparently primarily supported by the McKenna Foundation.
They seem rather chiral also.